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Thang Long Tu tran - Four saints temple protect Hanoi

  • SheaBirds

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2012
    Location Vietnam
    Posts: 11

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Four saints temple protect Hanoi , also known as "Thang Long Tu tran", here are four places where sometimes Vietnamese people long living in Hanoi can not know, take a close look to four temples built to protect the city from all direction

    1. East: Bach Ma Temple
    The oldest of the four sacred sites is Bach ma (White Horse) Temple, located at 76 Hang Buom Street, Hanoi. Bach Ma Temple was built in the ninth century to worship Long Do (Dragon's Belly) - a patron saint of Hanoi. Legend has it that Cao Bien, a Tang Dynasty official, try to use his magic power to overcome a deity, but lost. He is said to have built an altar to exorcise the spirit on this site

    In 1010 King Ly Thai To decided to move his capital from Hoa Lu to Thang long. But each time he tried to build a citadel on the new site, it collapsed. The King sent his staff to Long Di temple to pray to the supernatural powers for help in building his citadel. Suddenly, the saw a white horse racing from temple

    The king ordered the citadel to be built on the path taken by the galloping horse. This time, the construction was successful. King Ly Thai to elevated Long Do to the position of tutelary deity of Hanoi. From that time onwards, the temple was known as White Horse

    The first among the four Thang Long Tu Tran, Bach Ma Temple still contains many important relics, such as stone steles recording the temple origins and the resident deity, and royal ordinances on deification rites and the process of restoration dating from the Le to the Nguyen Dynasties

    2. West: Voi Phuc Temple
    The temple that defends the west is Voi Phuc (Kneeling Elephants) Temple, built during the reign of King Ly Thanh Tong (1054-1072) to whorship Saint Ling Lang. According to a legend, Saint Ling Lang was the fourth price of King Ly Thanh Tong and Lady Hao Nuong, his ninth imperial concubine

    When Chinese Sung dynasty sent a strong army to invade Vietnam, the king was very worried. He dispatched his messengers to recruit talented people to fight the invaders to save the country. Hearing the news, the price asked the king to give him command of the troops. The king agreed and provided him with a red flag, along spear, and two elephants. After arranging his troops, the prince stood before the elephants and shouted: "I am the general from heaven" the elephants immediately knelt down, then carried him to the battlefield where he and his troops defeated the invaders. Since then, the temple was known as Voi Phuc

    When peace was restored, King Ly Thanh Tong held a feast to reward his troops and expressed his intention of abdicating the throne to the prince. However Ling Lang refused the King's offer. A short time later, the prince was stricken with a disease. Resting his head on a square rook, Prince Ling Lang turned into a dragon and disappeared into West Lake. King Ly Thanh Tong conferred the title of Grand Prince upon him

    Later under the Tran and Le Dynasties, Ling Lang reappeared as a genie to help the King to defend the country against enemies. To commemorate the prince contributions, these dynasties conferred him the title "Superior Genie. Settlements within sight of his red flag all built temples to worship and honor him

    3. South: Kim lien Temple
    The temple that guards Hanoi to the South is Kim Lien temple. This temple was built as an altar to saint Cao sơn, who, as legend has it, was the son of the son of Vietnam's first couple, Lac Long Quan and Au Co, Cao Son was reportedly one of the 50 siblings who followed their mother to the mountains. It is said that Cao Son had helped Son Tinh (Mountain Genie) to defeat Thuy Tinh (Water Genie) and bring peace to the people

    According to document kelp in the temple, Ly Thai To Kimh ordered the temple's construction shortly after the establishment of Thang Long. In 1509, Le Tuong Duc marched his troop from Thanh Hoa to Thang Long to squash Le Uy Muc's rebellion. When passing the temple , he went in to pray to Cao Son for support . Shortly thereafter Le Tuong Duc successfully restored the Le Dynasty. In return for the saint's support, King Le Tuong Duc had the temple replaced with a bigger and more beautiful one in King Hoa ward, which was then close to Thang long. He also ordered his historians to compile epitaphs on the saint's merits so that his deeds would be remembered through the generations. the temple contains a huge stone Stele of 2.43 meters tall, 1,57 meters wide and 0,22 meter thick dedicated to Cao Son. It is carved with records of saint miraculous deeds and verses to pray him composed by historian Le Tung in 1510. The throne stele was erected in 1772. Every year, a traditional festival is held here on March 16th of the lunar year and offerings of thanks are made to the saint

    4. North: Quan Thanh Temple
    Quan Thanh Temple- also called Tran Vu temple is dedicated to Huyen Thien Tran Vu a deity mentioned in both Vietnamese and Chinese legends. He is credited with having helped Vietnamese people to drive away ghosts, evil spirits, and foreign invaders.

    King Ly Thai To had the temple built in 1010 to protect the north border of Thang Long Citadel. The temple contains a giant black bronze statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vu sitting on a stone pedestal 1.5 meters high. The statue has a solemn, majestic look and depicts a man with a square face, a long beard, and long hair. He is wearing a hermit costume and has bare feet. The lest hand of the statue oases magic and the right hand holds a sword shrouded by a snake propped against the back of a tortoise ( a snake symbolizes strength and a tortoise represents immortality. The statue is a symbol of Vietnamese people's undying resistance to invasion

    Cast in black bronze, it stand 3.966 m high and weighs four tons. this beautifully-made sculpture was made in Ngu Xa Village ( Truc Bach Lake) during the reign of King Le Huy Tong in 1677

    Quan Thanh Temple boasts a three-door entrance. In front of the entrance stand four large pillars. In addition to the statue of Huyen Thien Tran Vu, the temple also boasts other precious artifacts most notably a big bell dating back to 1677, a bronze musical bell cast in 1794 a bronze plate made in 1841 and stone stele recording the restoration of the temple ( 1857)

    Together, Bach Ma (White Horse), Voi Phuc (Kneeling Elephants), Kim Lien (Gold lotus) and Quan Thanh temples form the four sacred guardians of Thang Long- Hanoi. These temples and historic and cultural treasures that symbolize the artistry strength, self-reliance, and independence of Vietnamese people

    #1 Posted: 9/4/2012 - 02:28

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